Nothing seems to be working the way you’d like it to; you slave all week/month just to survive, and you’re still not happy. So you decide to get out of your bubble of misery and open up your own business. After a considerable amount of contemplation, you come to the conclusion that opening a fitness studio is the optimal business to start.
Whether you’re an expert in aerobics and bulking or not, it is very clear that today’s target market is constantly looking to enhance their bodies.
Before Opening a Gym or Fitness Club, Consider These 5 Things
1. Standing Out
Motivated by all the potential opportunities, you start to blaze a trail toward your dream fitness center. While it might be true that the fitness industry is somewhat saturated with fitness centers, the sheer volume of options and themes one could customize their gym will allow you to uniquely set yourself apart from the competition. That’s why the approach you’ll follow in your gym is one of the most basic things to consider when starting your own fitness business.
2. Fitness Agenda
The introduction of specialized boutique fitness studios—and their raging success—have adjusted customers’ mentalities to expect their fitness centers to offer a collection of all fitness and physical enhancement techniques. Clients right now prefer to have a fully equipped gym and the presence of fitness professionals to aid them in their exercises.
So far, these two customer attractions are available in everyday gyms, but being a fully running fitness operation with massage therapists, nutritionists, and personal trainers are the ultimate goal of any gym owner.
The truth is, almost all brand-name fitness centers started up with a fraction of the services they provide right now. They mainly start with a simple aerobic fitness center, and as their client base grows, they also start to grow and expand into more fitness territories.
On the other hand, brand names like CrossFit have remained a specialized fitness entity from their inception. They only cater to those who are seeking a more personalized and less aggressive form of fitness. Their success came from the fact that they provide something unique and stick to it. Finding your unique fitness approach is the first step of the journey.
3. Starting Capital
So far, you’ve selected the fitness agenda your gym will follow but have no clue yet about how to finance that dream. When you open a normal business, say a grocery store, you are initially required to spend your capital on acquiring the goods and a prime location.
Fitness centers, however, have the added cost of buying gym equipment that fills your center with all the needs of a fitness enthusiast. Furthermore, you don’t just have a couple of employees, but a fleet of marketers, salespeople and fitness trainers. This results in the accumulation of a hefty startup fee.
Image source: Pinterest
Fortunately, there are countless business financiers that specialize in startup fitness businesses. They might provide raw money as a loan to start your own business, or more conveniently, they could finance your equipment for you. Enter Gymstarters, the leading financier for new gyms in the US. They provide treadmills and dumbbells for belated fees—just browse here for more detailed descriptions. Their personable business plan will ensure the success of your opening.
4. Choosing A Name
To begin your journey toward your financial independence, you obviously must pick out a unique name that accurately captures your business’s theme. Begin by brainstorming the terms that might work. Words like gold, titanium, and metal are all key elements of a workout and fitness organization to signify top-quality, endurance, and energy.
Of course, these suggestions are meant mainly for bulking gyms, but not exclusively. The goal here is to think about the words that people want to talk about when they hear your name.
5. Startup or Franchise?
As previously mentioned, there are countless approaches one could have with their fitness plans. This creates the opportunity for you to either start your own business and keep it as a small local business, or grow it to become a franchise. If neither of those is the desired endgame, you could always pay a royalty for an already established brand name, like CrossFit.
After the many questions answered above, you are almost ready to start your own fitness business. The only remaining thing is to file for a state license, and definitely get your fitness center insured. In the end, the process of opening up your own business can be intimidating to even the bravest of us—especially when it’s about getting in a line of business that’s filled with competition. However, mindfully considering all these notions would surely make your journey run smoother.
Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives. We wake up, check Facebook, and post a photo of our morning coffee on Instagram while checking world news on Twitter.
The fact that it has brought us that much closer means there is no excuse for not harnessing this power and creating positive change in the world. If people took it upon themselves to commit to spreading positivity and trying to extend a helping hand online whenever needed, humanity will be better off.
Millions of initiatives have started online, especially those about world hunger and poverty eradication, as they resonate easily with all people across the globe. There are many ways to make positive changes through various online platforms, and listed below are a few.
5 Ways to Make Positive Changes Through Online Platforms
Re-sharing News of Worthy Causes
You do not have to be a wealthy businessman or a celebrity in order to call for attention to a cause you are passionate about. As mentioned on https://www.trvst.world, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.” It all starts with one person. When that person shares important information or statistics about climate change, for example, having others re-sharing this post on multiple platforms will make the news go viral and involved governments will be called to action.
Provide Your Knowledge and Experience
Share your experience with those seeking to benefit from it. If you are a teacher, you can take a couple of hours every week to record some online lessons and make them available for free on video-sharing platforms. You can create your own virtual classroom and target students in underserved communities in poor countries.
A successful businessman can share insightful workshops to encourage small business owners and educate them about entrepreneurship. Moreover, a pediatrician can film daily tips to share on moms’ groups online. No matter your experience, you can help.
Support Small Local Businesses
Huge brands with shops around every street corner sure are great. However, whenever you can, try to help those businesses that support the welfare of local struggling families. Buy meals from a housewife who operates from her own kitchen for some extra money. Share your positive experience and encourage others to follow suit instead of resorting to junk food.
Review Products and Services
By sharing your honest reviews about consumer products and services, you will benefit other people and help them avoid wasting money on an ineffective item. Not only will you be helping potential consumers, but you will also force producers or service providers to take corrective actions and fix the reported issue. This will promote a transparent online environment for all parties involved.
Do Not Spread Negativity
Perhaps the easiest, most straightforward way to make a positive change online is to simply not promote negative ideas! Refraining from online bullying and spreading rumors and fake news can be as good as any other positive action on this list. If people committed to their values and integrity online the same way they would do in the real world, this would maintain a positive environment and guarantee a pleasant experience for everyone.
Social media is an essential tool in current times. We need to appreciate its strength and utilize it for the benefit of our world.
A successful online business entails hard work and serious marketing strategies. But, of course, these are not the only things that your online business should have. First and foremost, you should know what it takes to make yours a big hit amidst stiff competition.
Essential Tips for Running a Successful Online Business
Below are some helpful tips that will surely work to make your business become successful.
Take care of your web assets
Your web assets include your website and any other social media accounts that you use for your business. Your hosting account is also part of your web assets. All these assets have to be organized and well taken care of. Make sure that these are always optimized for the success of your brand. You can make this possible by using certain reliable online tools that allow you to target those niches that actually work for your brand. Educate yourself with the use of different online tools that will make the process of web asset maintenance a lot easier. Reading web information or reviews is necessary. Jungle Scout tools review can give you a heads up on the tools and features that are worth considering for your website optimization. Know that the competition is real online and if you are not using the right tools for your web assets, chances are high that your business will be left behind.
Be responsible for keeping customer information
Keeping customer information is so crucial for the success of any online business. Remember that as an online entrepreneur, you have an obligation to take care of your customer’s information. See to it that you have separate backups and devices where you can store customer information safely. Don’t just let anyone see this relevant customer information and only those who are in charge should be granted access to these files. As soon as the information is no longer needed, such as a customer’s credit card information, a process of destroying this information must also be in place.
Know your competitors
Any successful online entrepreneur knows a lot about his competitors. You have to be certain who you are competing against so that when it comes to planning for business marketing strategies, you won’t find yourself doing a lot of guesswork as to which may work or not. When you know your competition, every move you make in your marketing efforts are all geared towards toppling your competitor. You have to know what makes your competitors' products click, so you can make yours better. Otherwise, you run the risk of just settling for mediocrity where many of your marketing efforts become futile.
Work towards protecting your brand’s reputation
Protecting your brand’s reputation online is so crucial. Don’t let anyone ruin such a reputation by making negative and unfounded claims about your brand. Be vigilant online and use tools such as Google Alerts so you will be able to check immediately any website that mentions your brand and see if the information they share about your business is either positive or detrimental to your brand’s success.
Running an online business can be daunting. You have to constantly educate yourself with what’s the latest and know that the online world is constantly changing. It can be very dynamic that if you stop paying attention to these changes, you are at risk of losing your consumer base and eventually your business.
Stay ahead of the game by keeping yourself well informed all the time. Don’t rest on your laurels because the competition never stops.
Great customer service starts from the ground up. I’ve partnered with TELUS, a company obsessed with improving customer service every day, to share stories of companies across Canada that are showing us how we can all expect more. To learn more about TELUS and how they are putting customers first, check out www.telus.com/expectmore
Customer Service Excellence starts with Tiny Noticeable Touches
TNT goes a long way when it comes to remembering a brand or an experience. How a client, guest or customer is left feeling is remembered and shared. The simple smile, whether in person or over the phone. A genuine acknowledgement of a customer when they enter your establishment and sincere thank you when they are leaving whether they have purchased anything during that visit or not goes a long way.
Looking for opportunities to go above an beyond is a sure way to create a loyal customer.
A few of my favorite T.N.T. experiences that stick out in my mind span from a weekend get-away, product deliveries, restaurants and travel.
Our first night at Rowena's Inn… a little piece of Heaven.
Rowena's Inn in Harrison Mills, BC. Arriving at the majestic landscape of the Sandpiper Golf Course on the Harrison River was a special treat in itself. As we settled into our private cottage, we discover a lovely written note from the Inn owner, along with
a bottle of local wine as an added treat. I recall thinking what a lovely space, wood fireplace, a grand king size bed, board games, and a huge soaker tub (AND, how great a cup of coffee or glass of vino would be). Sure enough they thought of everything. The tiny noticeable touches made a lasting impression and an extra special experience we have shared over and over (and over again – including this post!)
And of course, because I had such an epic experience at Sandpiper Golf Course too… had to include this little video… BIRD-EH!
Yup, this just happened! Birdie! #TourismHarrisonMills
Posted by Dai Manuel on Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Not to long ago, I was chatting with a friend who was telling us about a restaurant she recommended. She was mentioning how the food and drinks were really good, but it was the customer care that blew her away. The tasters at the door were a great touch while they waited for their table and once seated I guess their meal was taking a little longer than expected and the server felt bad that the couple would be rushed to get tickets for the comedy show they were planning to attend that night. Secretly the manager at JOEY Restaurants secured two tickets for the event and informed them to enjoy the rest of their JOEY experience stress free. No added cost to the restaurant or my friend, but an above and beyond gesture that has benefited beyond that nights dinner.
Question: Have you ever had a parcel delivered to your place? How about a box that was crafted from an old church, containing inside a personally-made, artificial hand holding a local beer bottle, along with a fake eye, snake blood, and tickets to a haunted house adventure? Okay maybe a NOT SO tiny touch, but definitely noticeable. With a number of invites to attend certain events, launches, product reviews, etc., the Fearmongers grabbed our attention and ensured a spot in our calendar for making the unique effort to go above and beyond the typical email or card invite.
Fearmongers definitely got our attention when we received this on our doorstep.
Another unexpected favorite was our family's first trip to Disney Land. We were typical guests at the California Grand, yet felt like absolute royalty. From the special evening events they host to the character visits during the buffet breakfast. One night we received a phone call to our room and it was an invite to enter Disney Land one hour early to view the return of NEO. Michael Jackson's NEO was opening the next day and guests of the California Grande were being offered an exclusive pre-show entry. Entering the infamous park before the public is unreal! Walking down the middle of the downtown Disney boulevard, with no one else around, seeing the rides fast asleep before awaking for their first runs of the day, and the amazing calmness in a enviroment that is normally full of hustle and bustle… we will never forget that experience.
Another fine example of how a simple gesture for a couple regular guests was received extremely well! (and do you think I share this story with a lot of people? I sure do!)
TNT Tip #2: Being aware of the impact customer care has on a brand is a must
The Walmart greeter seemed strange at first, but I didn't realize how much I appreciated the simple smile and hello when I walked in the store until it went missing.
The West Jet partners seem like real people, having common sense conversations versus the robotic scripts of some of their competitors. I truly appreciate being heard and having agents take the time to work through my concerns, questions and requests.
When I set up my new cellphone with TELUS, I learned the agent on the other end has recently become a dad, he walked me through my plan and ensured the coverage met my needs. He was real and even followed up a week later to make sure all was going well and see if I had any other questions.
Another example is the service manager at Brian Jessel BMW – he walked me through my entire invoice and even went the extra mile and emailed me a few weeks post-service call to ensure my vehicle was doing okay. Wow moments!
TNT Tip #3: Communication and getting clear on expectations is key!
Taking pride in your service shows. Communicating and getting clear on outcomes and expectations is next level of TNT service.
For example our floors were redone in our home. The company replacing the carpet with hardwood arrived on time and were done as scheduled — Awesome! Upon arrival home all looked good (from afar). As we went to create dinner, we noticed our entire kitchen was covered in a sheet of sawdust, which led to us discover our entire home had a layer of dust… the walls, baseboards, counters, couch…absolute yuck and pain in the butt!
It would have been nice had the contractor communicated to remove all items from the counter, cover our furniture or warn us we will need to spend a lot of our time cleaning up our space post install. Our exciting return home to our upgraded living space was tarnished and left a sour taste in our mouth to ever refer or use Gerry's team again. (Note, I refrained from mentioning the brand in this post? Missed opportunity!)
In closing, any company or professional that puts emphasis on the TNT of communication, customer service, and client empathy, is already going above and beyond the industry ‘norm'.
My advice to any companies out there that aren't taking a genuine interest in their customers, their concerns and feedback – you're boat is sinking! And what starts as a trickle in today's hyper-connected economy, can quickly become a surging leak you'll never plug. So, either learn to swim or create a humanized strategy to deal with the leaks that happened (and proactively create a plan to deal with the ones that have yet to occur… because it's not a matter of ‘if' but a matter of ‘when').
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This post is sponsored by TELUS. The opinions are my own…
And to be absolutely clear, this is my disclaimer: “Just so you know, I have been compensated to share my ideas on this topic. Sometimes it is in the form of products, or services or even money… But here’s the thing; I won’t share anything with you that I don’t fully support. It doesn't matter what it is, or how much they are willing to give me, if I don’t believe in it, It won’t be on my site. Seriously. You’ll just have to trust me on this.”~ Moose
In a day and age where physical fitness has progressed to being more of a science than an art and when customers are extremely conscious and discerning about their choices, you need to be really deeply committed to health and personal fitness to either set up your own gym or even take up employment as a health club manager. The commitment needs to be multi-dimensional.
A gym instructor’s focus should be on boosting fitness levels, infusing confidence and improving their members' overall well-being. Trainers and coaches should be able to train anyone from athletes to the weekend warriors, preparing them physically and mentally for all the physical challenges of life's events. As well, teach and offer strategies for minimizing risk of injuries.
A gym instructor has to be adequately qualified and properly certified before setting up their fitness business. It's vital to get a certification from reputable organization so that your clients can trust you to deliver safe exercise techniques, instruction and guidance. A certification from a well-known institute or organization assures clients that a specialized level of education has been achieved, ensuring that the trainer's level of competency is high.
All this being said, there's a ton of must-haves to opening your very own health club. But to help you get started, here's a few of them…
5 Must-Haves for Opening your own Health Club Business
1. You Must Have a Passion for Health and Fitness
In order to be successful, it is absolutely imperative that you have an overriding passion for the health industry. This will drive you to acquire knowledge and ability that will enable you to stay on top of the ever-changing fitness trends. An intimate knowledge of the industry will also make it possible for you to understand the needs of your customers, build facilities accordingly and hire the talent that will result in high customer satisfaction.
2. You Must Have a few Health and Fitness Credentials
You can only think about managing or owning a gym business if you have acquired some education and training in personal fitness and its associated areas such as diet and nutrition, etc. Your expertise will help you to understand what your members want and equip you with the skills to hire employees with proper skills and attitude. Most invaluable, fitness credentials will give you special insights and understand into the member-trainer dynamics as well as how to motivate your members to meet their fitness goals. For a more in-depth knowledge about personal training benefits read the complete guide of becoming a personal trainer by the Examiner.com
3. You Must Have People Skills
The fitness industry is all about people and positive interactions. If you don’t have the insight into how the fitness industry works you will find it difficult to hire and keep the staff whom contain the right combination of skills, attitude, and knowledge of people. Keeping your staff inspired is as big as big a task as keeping your members motivated to stick to their exercise schedule. You will need to play a pivotal role in shaping their personalities and their attitudes to members, business ethics, communication skills, and be the guiding light for growing their personal brands within your health club.
4. You Must Have Some Basic Marketing Skills
You will need to be a very good communicator and marketer so that you can convey your passion to both the members and staff. Unless you know how to market your facility to your target audience (or as Seth Godin says, Your Tribe) it may prove to be a challenge to grow your club as quickly as you'd initially hoped. Training yourself and your staff about the latest trends in the industry and practical solutions to common customer concerns can play a vital role in your ability to convey your personal story and your gym positively. Be sure to create a buzz every time you add a new piece of equipment, add a new class or workshop, or bring on the newest team member or trainer. You are a team after all! This will keep the narrative about your facility flowing. To learn more about gym management check out the keleven.com guide to health clubs.
5. You Must Have Equipment and Facilities
It is vital that you carve out a niche for your gym; if you are aiming for a particular segment then you should need to pay a lot of thought into the location, size of space and the type and quality of the equipment that will equip your facility with. It's necessary for you to make sure that your staff knows how to run and keep up the equipment properly and customers do not have to deal with overly complicated equipment or outdated and non-maintained equipment that may be unsafe to use. A very high standard of hygiene, cleanliness and organization can act as a very strong motivator for customers. New gear, clean space and vibrant community… bam! Now you're talking.
In closing, when opening your own health club business…
…Don't leave anything on the table. Be sure that your training facilities cater to as many customer types as possible – after all we all need health and fitness, right?
Remember gym management is all about keeping customers happy and on a path to improving their overall wellness. Pay attention to the small details like parking, incorporating a full-service juice bar catering to pre and post workout nutrition, engaging and energetic background music or even strategically-located televisions to keep your clients engaged during longer cardio sessions. Create amazing relationships – leverage the power of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to remember your members' birthdays, anniversaries, name of children and other valuable information that can allow you to nurture and maintain the relationships you've worked so hard to form.
Remember ‘why‘ you got into the health and fitness business – and live your passion daily!
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There comes a time in every professional’s career when they have turned their business of just a few clients, into something much bigger. If you’re currently there, then you know what I’m talking about. If you’re not, then trust me – if you’re good at what you do, you will get there very soon.
In business terms, this is called an “inflection point”, and that’s when you need to start building in efficiencies to your small business to help you grow in painless and scalable ways. There are 4 core elements to your business around which you can easily build efficiencies to help you not just take on more clients, but to continue to serve your clients well.
Each one of these core business pillars is like a body part that needs to be kept in shape. Just like your body, you need to hone the muscles of your business so that as you take on more work, you can manage easily and not have to spend excess energy (or money!) to succeed in scalable ways.
1. Your Clients: Core
The core building block to every business is your client base. Your clients are the most important part of your business – you need to serve them well, and you need more of them to grow.
In order to provide the best training and health services to each client, you need to know who your clients are, how to reach them, what their needs are, and where they came from.
Putting tools in place to create profiles for each customer is crucial. Give yourself a central location to access all your client information at the drop of a hat. That means who they are and how to reach them. Give yourself the ability to jot down notes and reference them while you’re on the go so you know your clients in and out. Quickly access your transaction and communication history with each client, so you know what you’ve advised the client before, when you last saw them, and what payments they have made or owe.
Putting these “client best practices” in place will make all aspects of client dealings incredibly easy. This will also free up tons of time to allow you to take on more clients without sacrificing any quality of your service whatsoever, and without giving you a headache.
2. Your Schedule: Quads and Calves
Your schedule keeps you moving from one spot to the next. The more organized you are, the more efficiently you can move from appointment to appointment.
Set up a system to allow you to efficiently organize your calendar of client sessions, meetings, appointments, etc. A pen and paper won’t cut it! That’s just another item for you to lug around. God forbid you lose it – do you have a back-up of your schedule? I know this sounds silly, but how about if you run out of space on a page to write?
And don’t simply set up a digital or mobile calendar to make your life easier. Use a system where once you input a session into your calendar, your client’s calendar gets notified as well so you both are easily on the same page. The worst situation ever is for you to show up and your client is a no show. Or for you to show up and your client isn’t at all ready because they simply “forgot”.
Use smart calendars to also set up automatic reminders to be sent to your clients…Maybe a day or two before the session to (again) professionally reinforce the fact that there is an appointment upcoming. Your calendar should show you (and your client) the job details and location, as well as give you easy access to your client’s contact info in case you’re late, or something has changed, or any other little update.
And keep all this info in one central calendar location so you don’t have to be opening up different computers or phones, or apps or calendar programs just to get a sense of what your day or week looks like.
3. Your Payments: Cardio
Payments are what keep the engine going!
You want to not only give your clients an incredibly convenient (and pleasant) payment experience, but you also want to give yourself a very simple tracking system to ensure no payment ever slips through the cracks.
Give your client easy options through which they can pay you. Don’t force them to lug around a check book or make sure they went to the bank to withdraw cash. And avoid making the act of asking for payment feel awkward or uncomfortable. Create a simple system allowing your clients to pay you remotely so you don’t have to be physically in front of them to collect, and so they can even pay you ahead of time for any services you offer (reducing your payment risk completely).
Keep a log of these payments close so you can quickly get a glimpse of who owes you what, and how much you’ve made from each customer. You want to make sure you know who your best clients are and ask them to refer you to their friends…maybe even send them a holiday card! At the same time, you want to know what payments are outstanding so you can efficiently and professionally remind clients to pay, never letting a payment slip through the cracks.
4. Your Business Health: Brain 🙂
Exercising this “muscle” drives you to make all the right business decisions.
Instead of flipping through bank statements, or making daily logs of cash payments, leverage technology to know exactly how your business is doing each day, week, or month. Having all your client information, appointments and payments in a central location will allow you to leverage all this data to understand the overall health of your business. This health score gets increasingly difficult to measure as you start to grow as an solo professional, as there becomes so much more information to keep track of. And don’t fall into the trap thinking you have to pay an accountant to tell you how you’re doing!
A major factor in growing a business is also understanding how much to invest for growth. If you know how much income you’re bringing in vs. last month, then maybe spend some of that extra income on marketing or leads or advertising, to bring in more clients.
If you’re making less this month than the previous month, understand why – Were you working less? Did certain clients take up too much of your time? Are you waiting on payment?
Help Is Now Here!
Following the above simple steps sounds like a ton of work, but the reality is it’s not. Technology is starting to offer independent and solo professionals (of all industries) valuable tools they need to help them compete, grow, and drive their business to success. The trick is finding the tool that’s right for you, without paying an arm and a leg. But little tips like the above can help you grow your business in incredibly efficient ways to reach that scale you need to succeed.
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Sam Madden Bio:
Sam Madden is the co-founder of PocketSuite, the first mobile business tool for independent professionals and solopreneurs. Sam spent most of his career researching and investing in business technology for small and medium sized businesses. He has since shifted all of his focus to build great technologies like PocketSuite to help eager and independent professionals succeed. You can read more about Sam’s mission on Entrepreneur Magazine.
PocketSuite is a new mobile app for fitness and health professionals helping them run and build a better business. PocketSuite empowers solo professionals with the ability to schedule appointments, invoice customers, collect payment, track income, and communicate with clients…All from a single app. PocketSuite is a free iPhone app to download and can be accessed through Dai Manuel’s referral link.